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Korea's two major art biennales in Gwangju, Busan to coincide this year

By Park Yuna

Published : March 29, 2024 - 20:33

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A poster of the 15th edition of Gwangju Biennale (Gwangju Biennale Foundation) A poster of the 15th edition of Gwangju Biennale (Gwangju Biennale Foundation)

Two major South Korean cities – Gwangju and Busan – will be filled with art, with two biennales in the regions coinciding later this year.

The 15th edition of the Gwangju Biennale, directed by French curator Nicolas Bourriaud, will be held from Sept. 7 to Dec. 1, titled “Pansori, a soundscape of the 21st century.” The biennale will bring together 73 artists from 30 countries; among the artists are 11 Korean artists

Literally meaning “the noise from the public place,” Pansori appeared in the 17th century in Korea. Bourriaud took inspiration from the traditional Korean music genre, inviting artists who explore contemporary space "through their dialogue with surrounding living forms," according to the Gwangju Biennale Foundation on Tuesday.

Known as one of the prestigious biennales in Asia, the Gwangju Biennale will accompany 20 national pavilions joined by 29 countries across the city, aiming to present a variety of contemporary art along with the biennale’s main exhibition at the Gwangju Biennale Exhibition Hall. The biennale will run through Dec. 1.

Busan is another art destination every two years with the Busan Biennale, attracting travelers to see art and enjoy the port city. The Busan Biennale will start on Aug. 17, co-directed by Belgium curator Philippe Pirotte and New Zealander curator Vera Mey.

Choryang House in Busan (Busan Biennale Organizing Committee) Choryang House in Busan (Busan Biennale Organizing Committee)

Inaugurated in 1981 as the Busan Youth Biennale formed by young Korean artists, the Busan Biennale has become a leading art biennale in the country along with the Gwangju Biennale.

Taking the theme of “Seeing in the Dark,” the 65-day biennale will take place at the Museum of Contemporary Art Busan, Former Hyundai Showroom and Choryang House.

The organizing committee unveiled the first roundup of the participating artists to the biennale Tuesday, including Korean artists Bang Jeong-a, Yun Suk-nam, Lee Doo-won and Song Cheon.